Politicians planning to use food vendors as “payment points” for vote buying, INEC reveals

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has uncovered plans by some politicians to deploy food vendors in and around polling units in order to effectively buy votes during the coming elections.

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja during a meeting with the European Union Chief Observer, Mrs Maria Arena.

Yakubu reassured the EU observer of his commission’s resolve to conduct of a free, fair and credible elections.

Making reference to allegations of misconduct within the commission, Yakubu noted that, “with 25 days to the 2019 general elections, the Commission’s attention is firmly focused on the conduct of credible elections. We will not be distracted into a fatuous debate”.

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“Following recent consultations with stakeholders across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, the attention of the Commission was drawn to a new plan by some political actors to use food vendors around polling units with large voter populations as collection points for cash-for-votes as well as other forms of material inducement to voters on election day. We are aware of this trick. It will not work”, Yakubu said.

He explained that Smart Card Readers will be deployed on election day for voter verification, confirmation and authentication.

“We have enhanced them and improved their functionality. Clause 10 of the Regulations and Guidelines recently released by the Commission makes the use of Card Readers mandatory. It is an offence to accredit a voter by any other means,” he added.

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